USPS Needs an Urban/Suburban Post Office Plan Too

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Congressman Chris Van Holland’s complaint about the new Bethesda Post Office illustrates that the Postal Service has more than a rural Post Office problem. While ensuring that small communities keep their post offices generate lots of headlines and press attention, getting retail right in places like Bethesda, MD is probably more important for the Postal Service financially. The reason is simple, demand for retail and competition is high for the types of services that a Post Office can offer. Bethesda, Md.is one of the more densely populated suburbs of Washington DC and is home to over 60,000 people. What matters to the Postal Service is that the demographics of the [...] Read more »

USPS-IG Concurs That Without That the Postal Service Will Face Liquidity Crisis in Next Year

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In a memorandum released on Wednesday July 25, 2012, the Office of Inspector General of the Postal Service concurred “with the Postal Service’s projections that it might not have sufficient cash to fund its operations in October 2012 and at other times during FY 2013.” The USPS-IG did not indicate when in October 2012 or FY 2013 will occur or the size of the cash shortfall if and when the shortfall would occur. The release of this memorandum last week provided Congress with an additional confirmation that without action, mail service in the United States is at risk. As the House schedule this week shows, Congress appears to have ignored [...] Read more »

House Schedule Ensures At Least One USPS Default This Year

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House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor has released the schedule for the last week the House of Representative is in session prior to the August recess. The schedule continues to ignore the need to take actions that would deal with the upcoming defaults by the Postal Service of payments to the Retiree Health Benefit Fund as required under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. Instead the schedule includes votes on four bills associated with commemorative coins. Most other legislation with votes scheduled are either non-controversial or on the schedule as they allow Republican members of Congress to focus press attention on issues that they believe will help either all members of [...] Read more »

Regulatory Thinking Constricts Rational USPS Pricing

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In MediaPost Blogs, Steve Smith criticizes the Postal Service’s 2D Bar codeP promotion as being too restrictive to fully allow advertisers to integrate mail with mobile media.   He’s right.   The promotion does discourage “the use of the mail for the full slate of mobile marketing practices.” What frustrates, Mr. Smith is that the restrictions effectively reduce the value of the Postal Service as a media platform that will complement other modes of communications. What gives? I am sure there is a logic of some kind here. Perhaps the USPS does not want to make the mail merely another media platform? But any mailing can also hold any number of call-outs and offers on [...] Read more »

Is the Growth of Parcel Delivery Accelerating?

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The post, Growing USPS, UPS  and FedEx Volume Is Not Just from E-commerce, used an exponential trend-line to illustrate the rapid growth in the share of deliverable retail sales that are delivered.   However, reports from retailers about the relatively recent growth of their e-commerce business raised questions about the possibility that the shift toward delivered retail sales may be accelerating.  To test this hypothesis, I plotted two exponential trend lines.  One using data from 1999 through 2007 and a second .   using the data from 2008 – 2012 The plot of the two trend lines can be seen in the following chart.   As was expected the trend for the 2008-2012 data is growing [...] Read more »

A Republican with a Strong Interest in the USPS Endorses a Democrat with Similar Concerns

Don Young -AK

Representative Don Young (R-AK) has just filmed a campaign ad for Democratic Representative  Mazie Hirono who is running in a Democratic primary for the Senate in Hawaii. These two Representatives share an interest in how the Postal Serves serves rural areas as well as other issues that are unique to representing a state outside of the continental United States.   So it is not surprising that thees two would find that have had reasons to work together in Congress. Endorsement of a candidate of one party by a sitting member of Congress of the other party is rare.  Even less common is seeing this filmed as part of a campaign ad.    Regarless of [...] Read more »

United Parcel Service Earnings Report Has Good News for the USPS

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United Parcel Service reported earnings press release today provides hints of a changing parcel delivery marketplace that favors the parcel delivery services that the Postal Service does best. Volume grew across all products as ground rose 3%, UPS Next Day Air® increased 5% and deferred air climbed 8.6%. The majority of the improvement was driven by large e-commerce customers shipping low-weight residential packages. The shift to residential deliveries has resulted in UPS’s revenue per piece rising far less than its change in rates from a yar ago.  UPS states that the change is due to a customer and product mix.  The change in customer mix describes the growing proportion of UPS”s [...] Read more »

Growing USPS, UPS and FedEx Volume Is Not Just from E-commerce

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The Courier Express and Postal Observer has calculated that the share of retail sales that are delivered direct to consumers in May hit 21.3% of all deliverable retail sales.   This figure is based on the latest release of the Census Bureau’s monthly retail sales report released on July 16th.   Over the first five months sales requiring delivery grew by 16.3% over year ago levels. Current trends indicate that the share of deliverable retail sales that the Postal Service, FedEx, United Parcel Service and regional carriers deliver will hit at least 24% by January of next year by the end of the decade one-third or more of retail spending of [...] Read more »

Examples of Proprietary Address at Amazon and the USPS: It’s Not Just the Format

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The posts, Amazon Goes Head to Head with USPS with Parcel Lockers in Virginia, and Amazon Has 30 Parcel Lockers in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn asserted that Amazon parcel lockers are proprietary addresses. This raised two questions.  1) What constitutes a proprietary address and 2) Is Amazon using a unique addressing standard for its parcel lockers. What is a Proprietary Address A proprietary address is any address that limits who may send or deliver to that location.  Amazon’s parcel lockers are proprietary as only shipments shipped by Amazon and sold by Amazon or a merchant that uses fulfillment by Amazon has access to the Amazon’s Parcel Lockers. No other merchant [...] Read more »

Senator Tom Carper Keeps Up the Pressure on USPS Reform

Senator  Tom Carper

In an interview on CNBC television this morning, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) continued to press the House of Representatives to pass a postal reform bill.   After describing the bill that passed the Senate, Senator Carper said he only wanted to make three points: If I can make three points, the House needs to pass the bill so we can go to conference, that would be the first one. The second point was the House needs to pass a bill so we can go to conference and work out a compromise and the third point is the House needs to pass the bill so we can go to conference and work out a [...] Read more »